The interest from Southeastern Louisiana came quickly.
“I didn’t go out looking for anything,” said Nicholls State football coach Tim Rebowe.
But, with one year remaining on his original contract, Rebowe signed a new, four-year deal.
“Our administration understands the value of athletics,” said Rebowe.
The 2017-18 season has been the best year in the history of the school’s athletic program. The women’s basketball team won the Southland Conference tournament, earning its first ever NCAA tournament bid. The men’s basketball team won 21 games, including 15 in league play. The Colonels shared the Southland Conference regular-season championship with Southeastern Louisiana University.
Last November, Nicholls hosted its first FCS playoff game. The crowd of more than 9,000, according to Rebowe, was the largest for any of the FCS playoff games that weekend.
Rebowe said the university stepped up with some much-needed support for the football program. The items included additional money for recruiting and for assistant coaches’ salaries.
“We need to keep our best people here,” said Rebowe. “That has not been done in the past.”
Rebowe said an additional staffer will be added for the strength-and-conditioning program. And, for the first time, football will have its own academic advisor.
Optimism for football is growing. Quarterback Chase Fourcade returns for his junior season, and the Colonels will be bolstered by a trio of transfers. Wide receiver Gabe Fuselier comes from Louisiana-Lafayette. Tight end Bry’Kiethon Mouton, who prepped at Acadiana High School, transferred from LSU. Offensive lineman Tyrin Arceneaux, who prepped at St. Charles Catholic, transferred from Pearl River Community College.
The Colonels will be tested in September. Nicholls opens with road games at Kansas, Tulane and McNeese. In Week 4, the Colonels host Sam Houston State, which won 12 games and reached the semifinals of the FCS playoffs before losing to eventual champion North Dakota State.
The Colonels are not to be dismissed easily. In 2016, Nicholls led at Georgia in the third quarter. And, in 2017, the Colonels were tied with Texas A&M in the fourth quarter at College Station.
“We are not sneaking up on anyone,” said Rebowe.
A reporter asked what Nicholls football might look like at the end of Rebowe’s current four-year contract?
“Hopefully, we will be talking about a conference championship and going deep in the playoffs,” said Rebowe. “And, then I will be ready to sign on for another four years.”
Ed Daniels is sports director of ABC26 WGNO. He can be reached at email@example.com.